Based on Oscar®, Pulitzer Prize, and Emmy Award winning author Horton Foote’s Tony Award nominated play, “The Trip to Bountiful” is a courageous and moving story of liberation, as well as a humor-filled celebration of the human spirit.
In “The Trip to Bountiful,” Carrie Watts, begrudgingly lives with her busy, overprotective son, Ludie and pretentious daughter-in-law, Jessie Mae. No longer able to drive and forbidden to travel alone, she wishes for freedom from the confines of the house and begs her son to take her on a visit to her hometown of Bountiful. When he refuses, Mrs. Watts is undeterred and makes an escape to the local bus station, where she befriends Thelma, a young woman traveling home. When Ludie and Jessie Mae discover she is gone, they call in law enforcement to help, but Mrs. Watts is one step ahead of them and convinces the local sheriff to help her on her journey home to Bountiful.
Foote originally wrote “The Trip to Bountiful” for television in 1953 and it made its Broadway debut in 1954. The play was adapted into a motion picture in 1985, when star Geraldine Page won an Academy Award® for Best Actress and Foote was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. In the 2013 Broadway revival, the play garnered four Tony nominations, including Best Revival of a Play, Best Featured Actress in a Play, Best Sound Design and a win for Cicely Tyson for Best Actress in a Play for her role as Carrie Watts.
Network Premiere – Saturday March 8th at 8/7c on Lifetime – What a terrific and moving film! Cicely Tyson turns in a remarkable performance as an elderly lady named Carrie Watts. She lives with her son Ludie (Blair Underwood) and his wife, Jessie Mae (Vanessa Williams), in Houston, and her daughter-in-law constantly nags at her, getting upset when Mama Watts sings hymns. Williams really plays the disgruntled daughter-in-law very well. Jessie Mae wants Mama’s government check and gets upset if she thinks Mama Watts is holding out on her. Mama wants to see Bountiful once more, the home she grew up in, before she dies.
Tired of the strife and tension at home, she runs off and buys a bus ticket to Bountiful and meets a young woman who helps her during the trip. The young woman is missing her husband, who just went off to war, and Mama encourages her. She tells the young woman that she is a wonderful person and that she wishes her daughter who died, had she lived, would have turned out like her. When the sheriff discovers Mama sleeping on a bench at the bus station, he is determined to hold her until her son arrives for her but when she pleads with the sheriff to help her just see her home once more and then she will peacefully return home with her son, he agrees and even takes her there.
This inspiring movie features Mama experiencing the freedom of singing a hymn at the bus station without being reprimanded by her daughter-in-law, and the precious moments she experiences in seeing her old home one last time. Anyone who has ever missed their childhood days or home will surely enjoy this film. It features a solid faith in God, prayer over meals, and the love of a sweet elderly lady that will capture the viewer’s heart. We even see Jessie Mae change a bit for the better by movie’s end. We are very happy to award this movie our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal and five Doves, our best rating. This movie will take you home again!